Two new Madison City Commissioners were sworn into office during Monday’s regular city commission meeting. Kelly Dybdahl and Jeremiah Corbin are starting three year terms on the commission.
After the two commissioners took their oaths of office, the commission discussed a resolution establishing the powers and duties of the Mayor and Commissioners. The resolution is compiled and presented to the commission by the Mayor for its consideration. Commissioner Corbin made the motion to approve the resolution, but didn’t get a second on the motion at first. City Attorney David Jencks explained to commissioners that if they wanted to amend the resolution, that the motion to approve it would have to be voted on and fail and then amendments could be discussed. He said that if the motion died for lack of a second that it would have to be put on next week’s agenda for the commission and no commissioner would be in charge of any of the city departments for the week. Commissioner Adam Shaw then seconded the motion to approve the original resolution presented. This then led to questions presented to Mayor Marshall Dennert by Commissioner Corbin.
The motion failed on a vote of 4-1, with Mayor Dennert casting the only affirmative vote. Commissioner Corbin said that since commissioners had not heard anything from Dennert regarding the proposed resolution, that he came up with another proposal. In his motion to amend the resolution establishing the powers and duties of the Mayor and Commissioners, Corbin proposed that he be the Public Works Commissioner and Dybdahl be the Public Safety Commissioner, with Commissioner Jerae Wire remaining as Utilities Commissioner and Shaw as Finance Commissioner. Corbin’s motion also included some changes to some of the commissioners’ and Mayor’s boards and committees. Mayor Dennert said that he thought there was some conflict of interest in Corbin’s proposal, with Corbin’s father-in-law working in the Public Works Department and with Commissioner Dybdahl serving as a volunteer firefighter. City Attorney Jencks explained to commissioners during Monday’s meeting what conflict of interest means under state law, and said that it wouldn’t be an issue in this case.
Commissioners approved Corbin’s motion to amend the resolution on a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Dennert voting against it.